Minutes Matter: AEDs save lives in Dane County

DANE COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV) - When Madison College student Tori Smith suddenly didn’t feel well in class, she thought she was going to have a seizure.

“We’re so used to saving other people that you don’t expect to become a patient,” Smith said.

Smith, who is studying to become an EMT, went into cardiac arrest.

“It’s incredible to think that someone who just turned 28 could have gone into cardiac arrest,” she said.

Her classmates, also studying to be EMTs, quickly began performing CPR and called 911. A PulsePoint alert also went out notifying an instructor in the next room.

City of Madison Fire Captain Jennifer Roman, who also teaches at Madison College, says PulsePoint has become a tool for first responders.

“The ambulance will get there but minutes later,” Capt. Roman said. “In instances of cardiac arrest, minutes count.”

PulsePoint is an app which notifies CPR trained users of an incident requiring CPR. It can be used by anyone who has been trained in CPR, even informally.

For every minute an AED is not administered, a person’s chance of survival decreases by ten percent.

In 2018, there were 266 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in Dane County. Since the program started in 2015, there have been 30,000 downloads of the PulsePoint app.

Last month, the Sun Prairie Anytime Fitness members helped one woman survived by using an AED.

“She wasn’t getting oxygen and she lost her pulse,” said trainer Logan Solano. “There’s not much else I could have done without that when her heart stopped.”

While fitness member Kane Kampmeier spoke with 911 dispatchers, Solano ran to get the AED and then administered one shock.

“You’ve just got to be aware of your surroundings at all times,” said Kampmeier, who was the first to notice the woman slumped over.

Both women are recovering and are grateful for their first responders and the AED machines.

“Thank you for being that light in somebody’s darkest moment,” said Smith who is encouraging others to become CPR certified. “You can be a part of somebody else’s story by doing that.”

To learn more about the PulsePoint app, click here.